NBA Finals Game 3: San Antonio Spurs v Detroit Pistons

Chauncey Billups sticks up for “Pistons royalty” Rip Hamilton


Wednesday night, after he dispatched the Pistons players with four three pointers in the final three minutes, Chauncey Billups took aim at Detroit’s coaches and management.

Wednesday made the eighth straight game Rip Hamilton has missed. Officially last night was because of the stomach flu, but if he had shown up to the arena early and healthy he still would have sat. Coach John Kuester has benched him.

And Billups told the Detroit News he doesn’t get it.

“My thing is he is Pistons royalty with the things he’s done for this franchise,” Billups said. “He has not warranted the activities they have given to him. I feel like he is one of the greats and his jersey is going to hang in the stands at some point. None of the other guys whose jersey is up there had to go through this. \

“It is disrespectful.”

He’s right.

Let’s not pretend that the current Hamilton is the same player as the Richard Hamilton that was curling off picks for catch-and-shoot 17 footers in 2004. He’s lost a step and if you want to reduce his role then it makes sence. But he is no DNP-CD player. He can contribute. However, the Pistons have gone to far down this silly little road now to turn back. At first the benching was believed to be because Hamilton was part of the three-team Carmelo Anthony trade, but when that fell apart Hamilton has remained glued to the bench.

The Pistons need to trade him. Disrespectful is a good word for the situation.

Tony Parker wants to play six more seasons with Spurs

Tony Parker
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Tony Parker revealed a plan nearly two years ago to play until he’s 38.

Coming off his worst season since his rookie year, the Spurs point guard is sticking to that goal.

Parker, via Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports:

“The Spurs know I want to play until I’m 38,” Parker told Yahoo Sports in a recent phone interview. “That will be 20 seasons for me. That’s my goal. This year is No. 15. And if I’m lucky enough and I’m healthy, hopefully I can play 20 seasons and then I’ll be ready to retire.”

That seems pretty ambitious, no matter how you handle the conflicting math. (Parker is 33. If he plays 20 seasons, he’ll spend most of his final season at age 39 and turn 40 during the playoffs.)

Parker is already showing signs of slippage. Many of his key numbers were down last season, including ESPN’s real-plus minus, where he quietly slipped from 12th to 67th among point guards.

But Gregg Popovich is very liberal with resting his players, and Parker won’t have to carry too much of the load. Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili will probably retire before Parker, but the Spurs will still have Kawhi Leonard and LaMarcus Aldridge.

I wouldn’t count on it, but it’s possible Parker lasts that long.

Report: Pelicans signing Greg Smith

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The Pelicans starting center, Omer Asik, is injured.

Their backup center, Alexis Ajinca, is injured.

Enter Greg Smith.

Scott Kushner of The Advocate:

Smith was part of the Rockets’ 2012-13 rotation, but otherwise, he has seen limited minutes in his four-year career with Houston and Dallas. In that small sample, he has looked alright. The 6-foot-10 24-year-old uses his big frame and massive hands to catch passes and finish efficiently near the rim. He has also become more disciplined defensively.

I wouldn’t be surprised if he makes the regular-season roster behind the 13 Pelicans with guaranteed salaries.

But it’s also possible New Orleans signed him just an extra preseason body. That’d beat relying too heavily on the aging Kendrick Perkins and undersized Jeff Adrien at center. Anthony Davis is the Pelicans’ best option at center with Asik and Ajinca sidelined (and maybe even with them healthy), but the biggest drawback to playing him there is the injury risk. If Davis is going to deal with the banging at center, might as well save it for games that count.

Still, even New Orleans plans to keep Smith only through the preseason, this at least gives him a chance to impress.